Random Sewing Tips from all my jeans sewing

Just a quick post, grouping together some of my tips....for me as much as anybody.  It is amazing how easily I forget things I have learned from experience, only to have to re-learn them again after later mistakes.

1.  Scissors

Cutting denim is not always easy, especially some of the stretch denims.  Whilst I don't own any hugely expensive dressmaking scissors, I have a couple of decent pairs.  When I was sewing dance costumes (all that sequined and glittered fabric), I did not want to ruin my good scissors, so I bought a cheap pair of Fiskars from Officeworks for $20.  As it turned out, I was impressed by how well they cut. Not only are they sharp, but they stay sharp.  They don't have a nice point on the end like my dress making scissors, but I often reach for them in preference anyway.  Well, I was reaching for them when cutting my stretch denims, that is for sure.  Nice to know that you can get away with cheaper sometimes (especially for children to take to home ec classes).

2.  Needle identification

I always meant to organise storage for my half used needles, but keeping those sort of systems is not my forte.  Now, when I am swapping needles, I stick the old needle through a bit of fabric I used it for and stick it in my pin cushion.  The fabric is a memory jog for the needle and I don't have to struggle to read that tiny print on the side of the needle.

Here you can see different needles for denim, linen knit and liberty cotton.

3.  Trueing the crotch seam on jeans.

The first photo below shows how I was trueing the crotch seams on my jeans after drafting the pattern.

This is fine, and necessary, but it is not complete.  Jeans are traditionally assembled in a different order to pants.  The front crotch seams are sewn together and then the back crotch seams sewn together and then the inner leg seam sewn.  I was struggling to sew the inner leg seam neatly, when I realised it was because I had not trued the seam that way.  I needed to butt the crotch seams up together, as shown below, and then true the inner leg seam.  So obvious in hindsight!

I hope these tips help somebody out there.  Happy sewing xx


  1. I love these tips, especially the needle one. I put my needles in a separate pin cushion but never thought to put it through some fabric - that is a genius tip!

  2. I love my fiskars scissors! I got them some 25 years ago and after year of use, abuse and sharpening last year the spring got stuck. I sent fiskar a claim (with pictures because of the old old old model) and they sent me two new springs! That's what I call customer service. I keep my needles in the original box and mark the used needle with a permanent black marker. Thank you for the tip about the crotch, very clever!

  3. I have to second the comment on the Fiskars. I won a pair in a Burdastyle contest, and they surprised me. I guess their marketing worked, because I now tend to look more for Fiskars products! As an alternative, I have lately been using a rotary cutter more, including for thick twills and canvas. I like the clean and precise cut that can be achieved. On the down side is the need for frequent changes of the blade and the need to "clean up" tight areas with a pair of scissors.

  4. After 40 some years sewing I am seldom excited by any tips anymore, but your needle one!!!!!! Fabulous, and I'll use it from now on!

  5. That needle tip is gold. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Butting the crotch seam like that may seem obvious to you in hindsight, yet I never thought of it, and it's the last adjustment on my jeans draft that I need to make. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  7. The needle tip!!! Brilliant! Thankyou! (And for all of them :-)